A few thousand people get struck by lightning every year. About 96% of those killed and injured are people out in the open. The majority of victims are people participating in outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. Many accidents in the mountains can be ascribed to the panic brought about by spectacular lightning that generates extreme fear among tourists. It is estimated that injuries as a result of indirect charge are three times more likely than a direct lightning strike. The project aims at increasing the safety of people caught out in the open during a thunderstorm. The tents are made of ultralight materials and thus meet the needs of those partaking in many different kinds of outdoor recreation. The tent can be put up fast and is easy to carry around. It also protects against unfavorable weather conditions accompanying thunderstorms, for example rain and wind.
Kama Jania, designer
BOLT is a lightweight (1,2 kg) tent with full lightning protection** for day-long trips, indispensable in urgent situations brought on by a sudden change of weather conditions (a thunderstorm, downpour, wind). Due to its size, the tent can be put up in seemingly unsuitable places, like a ledge, ridge etc.
A lightweight, compact, one-person tent with full lightning protection** for longer trips of a few days.
An ultra-lightweight, pneumatic tent with a groundsheet that protects from injuries due to step voltages (the most common way people are struck by lightning). Just like Bolt-Half, thanks to its size it can be quickly and easily put up in places unsuitable for standard tents. It is designed for day-long trips where additional weight would be burdensome.
HIGH VOLTAGE GENERATOR
The tent underwent high voltage tests with discharges produced by an impulse voltage generator. An electrode imitating a tourist's head was placed in the tent. The estimated voltage depended on the distance between the tent and the end of the electrode and varied between 400 kV and 1MV.
CURRENT GENERATOR TEST
A high current generator was used to check the tent's durability. A series of electrical discharges with different peak current values were directed at the top of the frame of poles.
Some scorching appeared at the pole joints due to the very high temperatures reached at those points. This is explained by their relatively high contact resistance. The stakes, which laid freely on the laboratory floor during the tests, melted to some extent. Again, it was a result of the high temperatures generated at those points during the discharges. The dramatic increase of the temperature in the short period of time resulted in sparks, i.e. particles of hot aluminum. The peak current was comparable to that occurring in lightning – statistically, it varies between 30 and 40 kA, though higher values (more than 200 kA) have been also reported.
See a video demonstration of the tests here
**direct and ground strike (step voltage)